How to Get Into an Accelerator

Last week, we hosted a community event for startup founders at our office to learn “How to Get Into an Accelerator.” We were overwhelmed by the response – the event sold out in less than an hour! In light of the demand, we decided to give the presentation over a Google+ Hangout on Air a couple days later. Thank you to the 100+ people that attended the Hangout and asked dozens of awesome questions. Thanks also to those of you who sent in feedback – we will try to incorporate it into the next event.

This is a recording of the live hangout. If you don’t have time to watch the whole video, high level topics that were covered are listed below and clickable timestamps are located in the description on YouTube.

  • Should you join an accelerator? (Separate blog post coming soon)
  • The online application – a walkthrough of a sample application
  • What to think about if you get a meeting
  • Communicating traction to investors
  • What does it mean if you don’t get in?

Although we cannot guarantee review for the upcoming class (the window has closed), we are still accepting applications and will do our best to consider!

Our Investment in Prevoty

We’re pleased to announce our investment in Prevoty. Located in Santa Monica, CA, Prevoty is building a web application security platform that protects against targeted code injection attacks.

The Problem

Traditionally, security has been handled at the network layer with a one-size-fits-all approach that attempts to detect and remediate all threats. However, commonly used firewalls and web application firewalls have two major flaws:

  1. Since they rely on historical attack data and outdated rule sets to recognize and block incoming threats, they cannot detect new and modified attacks.
  2. These security solutions sit outside of the web application and cannot contextualize the objectives of the data passing through and how users are interacting with the application.

A constant stream of destructive web application layer attacks regularly compromise major websites, resulting in identity theft, malware and botting, information breaches, and/or brand defacement. In 2013 alone, NBCLinkedInYahooThe PentagonLivingSocialToyota and Tumblr were all victims of code injection attacks.

The Solution

Prevoty is a cloud-based security company protecting an organization’s internal and external web application environment and its three main components: the network, the database, and the application.

Prevoty’s security modules are built within the contexts of each main component and are thus uniquely positioned to handle threats native to each context – from cross-site scripting (XSS) and cross-site request forgery (XSRF) to SQL injections, brute force, and DDoS attacks.

Their technology does not rely on past definitions, signatures, or blacklists. Instead, it understands how content will be presented to users or saved to the database (before it actually does) and determines whether content being handled by an application is safe.

The Team

Prevoty has an all-star team which includes co-founders Kunal Anand and Julien Bellanger. Kunal is the former director of technology at the BBC who has held lead security and software engineering positions at MySpace and NASA. Julien is an entrepreneur with extensive technology B2B business development experience.

The Value

Security prevention and detection solutions like the ones offered by the team at Prevoty are especially timely given the increase in volume and complexity of recent attacks. Attacks have become so prevalent that government proposed regulations requiring companies to disclose when they’ve been hacked or suffered a data breach (US, Europe) are becoming common.

Prevoty’s goal is to provide value beyond the one-size-fits-all security box, giving users flexible configuration options and actionable insights. Their technology can protect a variety of businesses and organizations (including e-commerce sites, media companies, government entities, and banking institutions) as well as the everyday blogger or content publisher.

Prevoty’s products can either be cloud-based or deployed as virtual machines in the customer environment, and can work in tandem with existing security suites to add a crucial layer of protection.

If you are a site administrator interested in protecting your web application, sign up for or live-test their product at

If you are a WordPress blogger, prevent code-injections without limiting user engagement and dynamic content by downloading Prevoty’s security plugin at

We are happy to be investing alongside two great LA funds, Plus Capital & Double M Partners, and we’re excited to welcome the Prevoty team to the Launchpad LA family.